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All council meetings to be webstreamed

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

In a move to address multiple complaints from residents regarding special meetings of council not being webstreamed, council is set to change that.

In Monday’s corporate services committee meeting, a motion was passed that would see all meetings of council now be streamed online for residents.

“I think this is a move in the right direction,” said Councillor Rick Kerr, adding it shouldn’t matter the number of people watching, but that the opportunity is there for citizens.

Councillor Amy England said the same, stating that residents can miss out on a lot of information and important motions if they unable to make it to the meeting.

“It’s the opportunity for people to watch that we should be valuing, not the number of people that are watching,” she said.

The first complaints came from resident Rosemary McConkey, who also ran for mayor in the last municipal election.

At a previous committee meeting, she said by not having special meetings webstreamed, it allowed council an opportunity to do things behind closed doors and push through surprise motions. She referred to a motion by Councillor Nester Pidwerbecki that asked for the denial of any permits for food trucks over the Fiesta Parade weekend. The motion wasn’t on the agenda of the special meeting.

Councillor Doug Sanders says council is very open, and this move will show residents nothing secretive is going on behind closed doors.

“We are open and transparent and we are accountable to the residents,” he said.

The motion carried unanimously, with only Councillor Nancy Diamond being absent from the meeting.